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Secrets to finding newsletter sponsors with Ryan Sager & Jesse Watkins of Email Revenue Solutions

Yaro Bagriy
Yaro Bagriy

About this episode:  This week we have Ryan Sager and Jesse Watkins from Email Revenue Solutions. These two are the experts on newsletter sponsorships. In this episode we’re going to discuss the secrets to finding newsletters sponsors, how to increase sponsor fill rates, how to price newsletter sponsors, and when to increase prices.

If you’re interested in the WhoSponsorsStuff discount then check out this link. Ryan and Jesse are providing listeners of the Newsletter Crew a 20% discount off their plan. Use the discount code newslettercrew20.

Episode Sponsor: EmailOctopus
"EmailOctopus has the flexibility to design great-looking newsletters that stand out. The best part is it's free until 2,500 subscribers."
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We’re also onboarding newsletters for the newsletter referral program software we’re building. If interested in putting your newsletter on the best growth engine, then send an email to

Show Notes & Insights:

  • When you’re trying to find sponsors you need to define your space, find the newsletters in that space, then find what companies are already sponsoring those newsletters.
  • It’s always easier to find newsletter sponsors when you target companies that are already sponsoring other newsletters.
  • Larger companies are going to be much harder to land sponsorships versus the smaller indie businesses. The labyrinth that you need to navigate for a larger sponsor is going to be difficult.
  • Half the battle in finding sponsors is knowing that sponsors are available for your newsletter. One way to fix this is to just have a line at the bottom of every newsletter that says you’re open for sponsors. It’s simple but very effective.
  • Another approach to show sponsorships are available is to create a sponsorship page with basic stats
  • If you’re going to create a sponsorship page for your newsletter don’t go too deep on the metrics. All you need is your subscriber count, open-rates, click-through-rates, and what they are interested in.
  • Sponsors help sponsors sell. Showing other potential sponsors that people are interested and have actually bought sponsors, will help you sell more sponsors.
  • Price your sponsors slots to sell.
  • It’s better to not have an empty sponsor slot. If you do find that one week you can’t fill a sponsor slot then do a sponsor swap with another newsletter. It’ll help cross-promote each other while also conveying a higher value for that sponsor slot. An empty sponsor slot shows potential undesirability.
  • Remnant sponsor filling is an interesting strategy that allows newsletter slots to get filled almost all of the time. Essentially, you’d build relationships with companies and offer them a discounted rate if you’re not able to fill that sponsorship slot for that week. Usually, if it gets to a few days before your newsletter is issued, then you’d reach out to these companies.
  • Offer discounts on sponsorship slots when companies book weeks or months. This helps in many ways. It gives predictable revenue and decreases remnant sponsor fillings.
  • Fill rate is one of the most important things. So strive to lock-in quarterly sponsorship contracts. This helps you forecast out your revenue while also helping you understand your inventory better.
  • Fill your sponsor slots first, then try to raise prices. An unfilled sponsor slot is worth exactly $0 to you.
  • Once you have about 2-months filled out in advance you can start raising prices. This’ll give you enough time to find sponsors if that higher price point doesn’t stick.
  • Make sure you sponsorship price meets the KPIs that the sponsors are looking for. It’s better to have a lower sponsor price that can meet the acquisition costs for your sponsors as opposed to having one-off sponsors at a higher price. It’s better to build a longer term relationship with those companies. You’ll see higher revenue returns long term.
  • Pricing newsletter sponsors is 50% science and 50% art/intuition.
  • A simple equation to use to price newsletter sponsors is $1-$2 per click on a sponsored ad.
  • If you’re looking to do CPM based sponsor pricing you can use this formula: (List Size)/1000*CPM. Typical CPM rates are $5 for a general audience and $10 for a highly niched audience.
  • The best way to start finding sponsors for your newsletter is to subscribe to every newsletter in your niche. Note down every sponsor you see then reach out to them. These are your best bets since they are already actively sponsoring newsletters in your niche and understand how valuable that channel is.
  • Never underestimate the power of your own audience to find newsletter sponsors.
  • One secret to finding newsletter sponsors is to utilize the algorithms of social media platforms. Follow well known companies in your niche and let the algorithm fill in the feed with other companies that are in that space too.

Newsletter + Guest Info:


Yaro Bagriy

Podcast host & community manager